On 17 October, with the Hauts-de-France bathed in sunshine, Jean-Dominique Senard paid a visit to the Renault plant at Douai. Built almost 50 years ago, the plant is experiencing a major investment programme and is gearing up for changes that will allow it to produce the electric models of the future.
It is an emblem for the Group. The Douai plant has traditionally produced the compact family models of the Renault range. Once it manufactured the R14 and the R21, today it is the Espace, the Talisman and the Scénic, but tomorrow it will be electric vehicles built on a specific platform that meets every Alliance standard. In 2020, almost 7,000 m2 at Douai will be dedicated to the electric vehicle.
Douai is indicative of the incredible transformation that our industry is undergoing”, Jean-Dominique Senard said during a Q&A session with staff at the plant.
Electric is key to all of this, of course. If we can succeed in this transformation, in this electric transition on this Alliance platform, then I believe that Douai has an extremely promising future.
To support this transformation and to give the teams the best possible preparation, many training courses, including video courses, have been put in place. Operatives take post-training tests to verify the effectiveness of this video training, a most modern approach that was welcomed by Jean-Dominique Senard.
Flexibility is a major feature of this training. Currently, 95% of the teams are able to fulfil two roles, which improves vehicle quality, gives added value to employees and means that the plant can run efficiently whenever there are specific requirements for a given task.
The contribution of staff is essential to improving production quality and efficiency. In various units, staff are regularly asked for ideas on their working conditions and on how to simplify their tasks: Christophe, the production manager in the assembly department, found a more competitive supplier for power screwdriver batteries; Morgan, a new starter, suggested an improvement to the ergonomy of his workstation. Technology can also be brought to bear on working conditions.
Jean-Dominique Senard is committed to the Douai plant and to a strong presence for Groupe Renault in northern France, and he showed his feelings and his optimism for the future of the plant.
Be proud, be ambassadors for the brand. I see a remarkable potential.